Journal: Microsoft, Kinect, & Hackers

Collaboration Zones, Communities of Practice, Ethics, IO Technologies, Policies, Real Time, Threats, Topics (All Other)

Innovators like Oliver Kreylos were eager for the Xbox Kinect, but not to play games. He uses it to capture live 3-D images.

With Kinect Controller, Hackers Take Liberties

Mr. Kreylos, who specializes in virtual reality and 3-D graphics, had just learned that he could download some software and use the device with his computer instead. He was soon using it to create “holographic” video images that can be rotated on a computer screen. A video he posted on YouTube last week caused jaws to drop and has been watched 1.3 million times.

Philipp Robbel combined an iRobot device and the new Microsoft controller that can recognize gestures. He calls it the KinectBot.

Mr. Kreylos is part of a crowd of programmers, roboticists and tinkerers who are getting the Kinect to do things it was not really meant to do. The attraction of the device is that it is outfitted with cameras, sensors and software that let it detect movement, depth, and the shape and position of the human body.

Mehmet S. Akten uses the system to draw in 3-D.

Phi Beta Iota: Microsoft took a few days to “get it” but their “final answer” is exactly right: “Anytime there is engagement and excitement around our technology, we see that as a good thing,” said Craig Davidson, senior director for Xbox Live at Microsoft. “It’s naïve to think that any new technology that comes out won’t have a group that tinkers with it.”  Kudos as well to the New York Times for a lovely piece of useful inspiring reporting.